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I think at one time or another, we have all experienced a minor burn or two in our lives. You know how bad the pain is...even with a little first degree burn, it can be quite awful.
When it comes to treating your burn, you first have to identify the severity of it. A first or second degree burn can usually be treated safely at home. However, a third degree burn will need to be treated by emergency personnel.
Burns are classified by depth and severity. Here is a quick rule of thumb...if in doubt, contact a medical professional.
First Degree Burns - This type of minor burn only involves the first layer of skin. You will usually see redness, swelling and have minor pain.
Second Degree Burns - This type of burn is a little more serious but can still be treated at home. You will usually see redness, swelling, blistering, peeling and will have moderate pain.
Third Degree Burns - This type of burn is a lot more serious and you should seek medical attention immediately. You will see redness, swelling, blistering, peeling, charring and a times...underlying blood vessels. These types of burns can cause severe pain and/or numbing due to the nerves being damaged.
For immediate pain relief of first and second degree burns, you can try some of the following home remedies.
1. Cold Milk - You can soak a burn in a bowl of cold milk for 15 minutes to help relieve the pain. After soaking, rinse the area with cool water. If the stinging continues, try a cold milk compress...changing the compress every 20 to 30 minutes as needed.
2. Aloe Vera - You can break open a piece from a natural aloe plant and apply the 'gel-like' substance directly onto your burn to help promote healing.
3. Diluted Vinegar Compresses - I must admit...I have never tried this tip but my grandmother used to swear by it. Take an old cotton wash cloth and soak it in a solution of 80% cool water to 20% white vinegar. Apply this compress to your burn for 20 minutes. After the pain has subsided, rinse the affected area and bandage it to keep it clean.
4. Preparation H Hemorrhoid Cream - This cream has a yeast derivative that helps to promote healing. Just dab a little bit onto the affected area and apply a clean bandage.
After the initial treatment of your burn, you will still need to follow up with some additional care to help prevent infection and/or scarring.
Here are a few things to try (After 24 hours):
1. Wash the area with a mild soap and cool water at least once a day. Follow up with a dry dressing to keep the area clean.
2. Apply Vitamin E cream directly to the affected area to help reduce scarring.
3. If you haven't applied Aloe Vera yet, now is a good time to do so. Aloe is a natural pain reliever with anti-inflammatory properties. You can apply aloe several times a day and then cover with a clean and dry dressing.
Post Burn Care: If you are worried about scarring and/or infection you can try over the counter (OTC) ointments such as Neosporin or Bacitracin. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for correct dosages.
If you are ever in doubt at which type of burn you have or how to treat it, it is always best to contact a medical professional or visit your nearest emergency clinic/hospital.